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Who should decide where Syrian refugees settle?

December 2, 2015

By Jeremy Quattlebaum, Student Voices staff writer

After the Paris terrorist attacks in November, a debate started in the U.S. about whether the country should admit refugees from the Syrian conflict. It is still unclear whether a terrorist in the Paris attack entered in France and other countries by hiding among the flood of refugees entering Europe, but some lawmakers have demanded that the U.S. plan for refugees stop.

Some governors have opposed the federal government’s plan to resettle refugees; a case may end up in the federal courts. Previously, the courts have sided with the federal government on issues relating to border policies and who is admitted to the U.S.

More than two dozen governors have criticized President Obama for going ahead with resettlement of Syrian refugees, arguing that potential terrorists might be among them. “American humanitarian compassion could be exploited to expose Americans to similar deadly danger,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wrote to Obama. The governors and other politicians are concerned that the refugees are a “Trojan horse” for terrorists and could expose Americans to the threat of terror.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has refused to let Syrian refugees enter his state, defying a federal order. Pence was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union, which says that he does not have the authority to refuse refugees. The suit says that the state received $900,000 in federal funds for resettlement, but that the governor is refusing to use the money for refugees, which the ACLU says is illegal.

The governor’s office argues that his actions are well within the authority of the state’s executive and that he is doing his duty to keep Indianans safe. A Pence spokesman said in a statement: “Governor Pence took decisive action a week ago to put the safety and security of the people of Indiana first by suspending the state’s participation in the resettlement of Syrian refugees. The governor is confident he has the authority to suspend the state’s participation in the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana and will not reverse course until the Administration and Congress take action to pause this program and implement measures necessary to address security gaps acknowledged by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.”

Obama and the State Department have said that the resettlement of refugees will continue. They have argued that the refugees have undergone a lengthy application process and that intelligence agencies like the CIA, NSA and FBI have conducted background checks. Vice President Biden said the governors are playing into the hands of the terrorists when Western democracies give up on their commitment to be places of sanctuary. Biden said during a video address: “It’s clear what ISIL wants. They want to manufacture a clash between civilizations. They want frightened people to think in terms of 'us versus them.’ They want us to turn our backs on Muslims victimized by terrorism."

Regarding the refugees, Biden said that “to turn them away and say there is no way you can ever get here would play right into the terrorists' hands.”

Of about 1,800 Syrians who entered the U.S. in 2015, half of them were children and about 2 percent were single men of “combat age,” according to the State Department. All of them went through a yearlong application process in other countries like Egypt and Turkey. Those admitted to the U.S. are selected out of thousands of applicants. In the coming year, the U.S. plans to accept an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees, Secretary of State John Kerry said.

Some governors say they are refusing federal orders to avoid putting their citizens in harm’s way. However, three years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government has the exclusive power in deciding who can come into the country. The decision in Arizona v. United States found that states cannot enact their own immigration laws, putting the power solely in the hands of the federal government. Furthermore, the courts have routinely ruled that states would have to prove an immediate and imminent threat from the refugees to block their resettlement, which no governor has proved.

While some governors have come out against Syrian refugees in their states, several mayors have welcomed Syrian refugees. In 2015, 22 individuals fleeing Syria were resettled in Lancaster, Pa., and the town expects an additional 40 to 50 in the next year. Detroit, Mich., and Austin, Texas, plan to accept families, ignoring their governors’ attempts to prevent Syrian refugees from settling in their states. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has said that his city can support 50 Syrian families annually for the next three years while Austin Mayor Steve Adler says the city already has accepted three families and is awaiting more.

What do you think?

Should states be allowed to refuse Syrian refugees? Or should the federal government hold the power to decide on admitting refugees? Join the discussion and let us know what you think!
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Comments
2/28/2017
murrieta
christian
mr.jabro/mca
Syrian people should stay in Syria or another Muslim country in their region. They should not be allowed to enter the United States of America under refugee status because they have no intent of becoming "Americans". They merely want to transform wherever they live into the Country from which they came. And, establish Muslim-ideological communities that are antithetical to American values.

2/24/2017
oakland/tennessee
John
oakland
Syrian people should stay in Syria or another Muslim country in their region. They should not be allowed to enter the United States of America under refugee status because they have no intent of becoming "Americans". They merely want to transform wherever they live into the Country from which they came. And, establish Muslim-ideological communities that are antithetical to American values.

1/18/2017
Murrieta, CA
Chandler
Mr. Jabro/MCA
This is a tricky topic. In my opinion, they need to stay in Syria. There are too many risks with letting them migrate to the United States. After the Paris attacks, we have to come to the realization that not all of them are the "good guys". These terrorists can disguise themselves as refugees and migrate to other countries and wreak havoc. So, I don't think it's the states job to restrict access. It's the countries job to keep potential threats out period. And if that means refusing every single one of them, then so be it. Our countries safety should always come first.

1/18/2017
Murrieta, California
Zachary
MCA/ Mr. Jabro
I feel the governors do have a right to be concerned about the safety of those dwelling in their state, and should be concerned about the large increase in terrorist attacks in 1st world countries, the U.S. especially. That does no mean they should completely restrict entry of Syrians as a whole, but should be more cautious about letting in people who have not been properly culture checked, because if they cannot assimilate into the 1st World Ideas, then it is not safe to allow them entry liberally.

10/20/2016
Fenton missouri
Gary
Mc cluer sr high
I think that they need to get rid of the electoral college and go by the popular votes in the elections stupid Bush jr would have never been in there Al Gore would have been in the White House and maybe Bush Sr may have wouldnt been in there either now everybody blaming Obama and they shouldnt he walk into a big mess from Bush administration and done what he could do this country I s about to go to hell and the poor and working people need to wake up because the rich will keep fucking you over and over

9/28/2016
murrieta/ca
roxanne bolanos
mr.jabro/ murrieta canyon academy
i dont agree with the government stopping the refugees from entering because its not their fault all the attacks are happenening . i think the government should just be more observative ans strict on who they let in , think there should be more questioning for the refugees

9/23/2016
Murrieta/CA
Leo
Jabro/ Murrieta Canyon Academy
I believe that they should decide where Syrians should live, to tell who's innocent and who is guilty. I think they should release them once they uncover the truth of each individual . Syrians should also apply to be a u.s citizen.

9/23/2016
Murrieta/ CA
Matthew Munoz
Mr. Jabro/ Murrieta Canyon Academy
I don' really think that the governors should be able to have that much power in choosing who should and who can't stay in their state. Maybe we should hear what the public has to say about the refugees possibly staying and even hear the struggles the refugees have to face in their homelands. So no i do not agree with the ways the governors are against having the refugees around.

9/23/2016
Murrieta/ CA
Matthew Munoz
Mr. Jabro/ Murrieta Canyon Academy
I don' really think that the governors should be able to have that much power in choosing who should and who can't stay in their state. Maybe we should hear what the public has to say about the refugees possibly staying and even hear the struggles the refugees have to face in their homelands. So no i do not agree with the ways the governors are against having the refugees around.

9/23/2016
California
River
MCA
Syrian refugees should be allowed to settle anywhere they want as long as they have proof of not being a terrorist and have a legal passport. Although no one should be forced to accept them into their country.

9/23/2016
Murrieta / California
Elizabeth
Mr.Jabro / Murrieta Canyon Academy
I don't agree with the governors that are ignoring Syrians refugees because they're not in a good risk. They're families being killed and they're homes being destroyed. They shouldn't be going through that. They deserve so much! So I think the government shouldn't hold the power to decide on admitting refugees.

9/21/2016
Elk Grove, CA
Rendan
Horizon Charter School
The ones who should decide if Syrian refugees should be allowed into this country are the ones who would be living in the same area and interacting with them: the citizens of the United States. The United States should focus on helping the United States get out of debt before reaching out to help others. Something we should look at is the fact that the bombing that happened a few days ago was by a refugee from the middle east.

9/21/2016
Murrieta, CA
Jon Ramirez
Mr. Jabro/MCA
I do not believe that states should be allowed to refuse Syrian refugees, because the placement of Syrian refugees are an international affair (many countries all over the world are trying to figure out what to do with them), so because it is a problem on the global scale, the government that is able to conduct our foreign affairs (the federal government) should handle this issue. Overall, I believe that the federal government should decide whether Syrian refugees are allowed to enter the country because the admission of refugees in general is usually a federal issue such as when Cuban, Vietnamese, or Cambodian refugees were allowed into the country through parameters set by the federal government. Also, the Supreme Court has already ruled in favor of this being a federal issue, so we should abide by what they say. Personally, I believe that the United States federal government should allow Syrian refugees to enter the country, because they should not be able to discriminate against a group just because some of them might be terrorists. I also believe that the United States should have very extensive background checks on all refugees in order to make sure they are not terrorists.

9/20/2016
California
Sonny Martinez
Murrieta Canyon Academy
I think individual countries should decide who they let in and out of the country. I also feel with this, highly thorough background checks should be done we cant take risks for the safety of others who might be in a bad place. On the issue of refugees I don't support other countries especially our own providing help to these families before our own people, I think that it is okay to help out countries in need but I think countries should provide to their own natives first.

9/16/2016
sidney, mt
Miller
Faulhaber
Think about it this way, You have a bowl full of M&Ms but you know that a handful of them are poisoned, would you still reach in and eat any of them? Any normal person wouldnt. If there is even a thought that there are terrorists disguised as reffugees, why would we bring them into our country? why would we give them places to live, and access to our soft targets (Schools, Bussinesses)

9/15/2016
Murrieta/CA
Evans James
Mr.Jabro/Creekside High School
I believe that no one should decide where Syrian refugees settle, I think its should be mandatory for Syrians to stay in refugee camps that is in isolated areas in which country they stay in, because there is no easy way to find out if one is innocent or a terrorist.

9/15/2016
Murrieta, CA
Maurice
Mr. Jabro Murrieta Canyon
Recent attacks shown to the world, show that there needs to be more effective background checks before letting someone into the country regardless of race or religion. Putting everyone else in danger just to let other people in, when in fact the lower class is growing. Why do we always have to have our foot in every world problem? I understand that they are in a dangerous country, but during the genocide of Uganda the U.N turned a blind eye to their struggle. Since we can do that, I don't see why we cannot focus on our own people before letting others in. We're acting like an idea, instead of being the real thing. When Japan attacked us back then they were put into concentration camps, which was wrong. But if the gov. is really concerned, they should run better background checks . Also they shouldn't be able to make the call since this is still a democracy, the people should vote.

9/14/2016
Murrieta ca
Brittany
Jabro/MCA
I disagree with this personally. With the refugees going to Europe it has changed so much over there. The culture, the way they live, and the fact that they take there jobs for less money. People are so torn on should we let them in what happens if we do. It has caused so much stress for everyone

8/31/2016
Murrieta/CA
Bryson
Mr.Jabro
No one should., until there is an effective way to sort the innocent and terrorists, they should stay in refugee camps provided by countries in isolated areas, for if any country gains enough terrorists there will be consequences, those effects are happening right now in Europe and its only going to get worse, the terrorist threat is getting more powerful by the day and no country should risk their people and their economy. this will stay true even if "we win"

5/23/2016
Murrieta/CA
JacobStrommen
Mr.Jabro/CreeksideHighSchool
I believe that the people should decide because they all have a chance to be a terrorist and all may be not, but the fact that they might cause a large scare is enough to keep them out. the fact that we do not know what might happen is a large risk on our hands and if we can just not take the chance then there is not risk that something bad will happen. when there is a 100% chance that nothing will happen it allows the people of the US to feel comfortable in there own country and there will be no riots or disapprove for the matter.

5/17/2016
Harrisburg, PA
Booth
Mrs. Morris/Central Dauphin
I believe that the American people should decide because many people in the U.S. are not happy with them coming here. I do not agree with this personally. With the refugees going to Europe it has changed so much over there. The culture, the way they live, and the fact that they take there jobs for less money. I understand that you want to make a better life for your family or group but they are tearing everything apart. People are so torn on should we let them in what happens if we do. It has caused so much stress for everyone and has made them afraid. So yes I think we aid them in their struggle but no we do not let them in the U.S. we as a country can not take that chance. It is still a threat if they come here they could bomb schools and other places like that. Times have changed you can't think that if you help someone that they will be your friend. That's when you drop your guard and they stab you in the back. Its bad to say but it is true now. So in my own opinion and I believe I speak for a lot of others as well when I say this I think we should refuse Syrian refugees.

5/12/2016
Murrieta/ CA
Nathaniel
Mr. Jabro/ Creekside High School
All states should have every right they want to refuse Syrian refugees from coming in. Since it is their state they should be able to decide what they want to do with the refugees coming in. With all the terrorist attacks on Germany, Paris, and plenty of other places, you can not be too safe anymore. The federal government should not hold onto that power. Because if they make the wrong choice they put a lot of peoples' lives in danger. They could have innocent people killed in bombings.

5/10/2016
Hoover Al
Alberto Castillo
Spain Park Highschool
I think the people living in the state should decide this. Since they live in the state they should be able to vote on whether they want Syrian refuges or not. So with the power of the people. The states should have the final decision based of the majority Opinion. Since America is a free country we shouldn't just allow the federal government take that decision for all of us. Also the people are mostly worried about their state so it should not be forced upon us to do what the government only because the Syrian country isn't doing well at the moment. We also prioritize the safety of our family.

4/29/2016
Murrieta ca
madison hamilton
Mr.Jabro/Creekside High School
I think the Government should hold the power to decide on admitting refugees. The Government would be able to find out things states can't like if some of those refugees were syrian terrorists undercover. At the same time I dont think we should deny any refugees, Take the Holocaust for example, When those of a Jewish religion wanted to stow away to America we wouldn't take them because it "wasn't our fight" which is a bunch of crap when Americans later realized innocent lives were being taken and we could have stopped a lot of innocent people from dying had we taken in refugees

4/27/2016
Rudyard/MT
Graysen
Mrs. Campbell/NorthStar High School
I think States should be allowed to refuse Syrian refugees. This is a free country and the governors of these states should do what's best for their people. Some states may feel that accepting refugees will be an advantage, while others believe it could be dangerous. They should have the right to refuse or accept Syrian refugees.

4/26/2016
Rudyard, MT
Megan Kurtz
North Star Schools
I think the states should be allowed to refuse Syrian refugees. If the states are apart of the country, then knowing that the United States is free, the states have a right to say no to the refugees. Even though they are having problems in their own country, it doesn't mean that the states should put their citizens' lives on the line. I think since 9/11 and now the Paris attacks, U.S. Citizens are a lot more aware of another terrorist attack and not do everything we can in order to prevent it from happening.

4/19/2016
Murrieta California
Killian
Jabro Creekside
Who should decide the people of each contry should decide and there government should also be responsible for these people and getting them to safety. there is usually states or provinces in each country there should be the nation wide vote and needs to be 2/3 to denies all people from entering and no less then each state will decide if they want to take in refuges or not. The best way to help out world is to make sure all the people in it for each other we must make sure that there is no barrier between me and someone else just cause skin color or a religion. Helping these people should be a priority we did nothing when Hitler was announcing his plans to make a arayn Europe eliminate all those he saw fit. Now the islamic state wants to strike fear in our eyes so we dont want to take in people we can save millions just but letting them in and the terrorism will try and ensue but the lives of the many outweigh the lives of the few its that simple so we must put those in danger first. so the stats and the U.N. need to figure how to get these people to safety and eliminate the threat of the islamic state.

4/19/2016
Murrieta, CA
Renzo
Jabro, Creekside
When there is a conflict or problem across the world, the U.S. doesnt half to be involved. We are not the "police force" of the world. So to answer the question, I believe that the states should have power to deny refugees in order to keep their citizens safe. You may never know, now women and young children are trained in combat and may be heavily radicalized. This can be a problem if we cant understand someones motives. A state should be allowed to deny access based on that problem.

4/14/2016
Montgomery, AL
Lonnie
Mr. Jones/Wind Creek HS
I think that any refugee, those that are Syria, or any other nationality should be welcomed. However, the United States must choose which to take in after a thorough screening of each person. Federal Government should be responsible for keeping tabs on said individual as well. Orphan refugees should be a yes because they do not pose a threat to our national security, but the adults

4/7/2016
Murrieta/CA
Trevor
Mr.J/Creekside High
If we get a lot if refugees from Syria I think that we could use space in some hotels that aren't extremely popular. If we run out of hotels and they have to stay in houses the home owner should sign a petition to agree to letting a refugee in to their property.

3/20/2016
Sroudsburg PA
Bridget
Mr. Hanna Sroudsburg JHS
Personally I think that the states should decide on if they want Syrian refugees. This is because there state might not be able to provide enough food,water, or maybe even shelter.

3/18/2016
Stroudsburg PA
Mark R
Mr Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
I think that all states should have the right to refuse Syrian refugees to stay there, as a governer of said state has a duty to do what he feels is right for his citizens. I also feel that Syrian refugees should not be allowed to live near any major cities or population centers, simply because you can never truly be too sure of who is a terrorist or helping terrorists. Next, they should not be allowed to board any air flights without having extended security checks, and a special ID should be provided that they must use whenever a normal one would be necessary. This would help sort out potential security risks (no matter how small) and in turn keep us a little bit safer from terrorists coming in from outside countries. Finally, I think that states with very low populations such as Alaska and Wyoming should have places where large amounts of refugees can stay. Therefore, you could accomodate several thousand immigrants and risk the least amount in return.

3/16/2016
Stroudsburg/PA
Waqar M.
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg SJHS
Who should we decide where Syrian refugees settle? NO ONE! Syrian refugees need help. So if they need help, then they refuge to other places until the situation is clear and they can go back. How hard can it be if its only temporary? A good idea is letting everyone in, because its a nice thing to do and it saves lives compared to sending them back in the crossfire. Too many people are dying because of the war, decreasing our population. We should help everyone to the best of our abilities.

3/16/2016
stroudsburg PA
collin
stroudsburg JHS
I think that the states should accept and refuse the refugees from Syria. I feel like we should rebuild a old town so we can make a place for the refugees so the states don't have to deal with people that might sneak in who are terrorist and we can all be safe

3/16/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Ross
Mr.Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
If we get a lot if refugees from Syria I think that we could use space in some hotels that aren't extremely popular. If we run out of hotels and they have to stay in houses the home owner should sign a petition to agree to letting a refugee in to their property.

3/16/2016
Stroudsburg, P. A.
Sara
Mr. Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
I think that individual states should be allowed to refuse Syrian refugees. If governors or state representatives think it is unsafe for the people living in the state to have the refugees around then they should be allowed to recommend a place/ state for the refugees to go.

3/16/2016
Stroudsburg
Ricardo
Mr.Hanna JHS
I believe that states should not be able to refuse Syrian refugees. That's what the federal government is for, our government has to think about whts best for all of us not one state thinking about there only needs because then we are not a unified nation.

3/16/2016
Stroudsburg/PA
Amber F
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I believe that states should be allowed to refuse or accept refugees from Syria. It is every governor's job to protect the people of the state they govern, and letting in possible terrorists isn't a good way to protect the people. No one can be sure weather a refugee is a terrorist or not, so why risk it? There are other states that are open to taking in refugees so send them there. No one should force a governor to accept unwanted people.

3/16/2016
Stroudsburg,PA
Mahogany
Mr.Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
I think that the countries around Syria should tell the refugees where to go. I also think that states should have a say because they are tryin to take care of their people and of they feel like they aren't safe, then they shouldn't have to take them in.

3/16/2016
Stroudsburg,PA
Mahogany
Mr.Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
I think that the countries around Syria should tell the refugees where to go. I also think that states should have a say because they are tryin to take care of their people and of they feel like they aren't safe, then they shouldn't have to take them in.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg PA
Mahedi
Mr.Hana/Stroudsburg jhs
I think that the surrounding countries and their governments should decide where the refugees stay. The goveement makes decisions for their own countries so why not help the people a country who is failing economicly.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Jayden
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
In the past we have allowed refugees into our country and terrorist attacks did happen. We shouldn't however be afraid because that's what they want. They work off fear and we shouldn't give it to them. Though that is true, for those who are truly scared and worried for their people should be allowed to refuse. It's their right and are doing it in care for others. Government in my opinion should not make these places accept refugees.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg
Raven
Mr Hanna /Stroudsburg JHS
I think that the states should let in the Syrian refugees in the US ,but also,should have a vote on rather or not we should let them in. It's better to take risks and be prepared for it then not be prepared for it.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg
Raven
Mr Hanna /Stroudsburg JHS
I think that the states should let in the Syrian refugees in the US ,but also,should have a vote on rather or not we should let them in. It's better to take risks and be prepared for it then not be prepared for it.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Hope
Mr. Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
States should be allowed, based on their concerns for public safety, to refuse refugees. If they feel unsafe receiving refugees, they should be allowed to refuse based on worries about terrorism.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Umu
Mr.Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
I think the states should decide if whether or not they should let in refugees. The states should do everything in their power and protect their people no matter what.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg,PA
Laif
Mr.Hana\stroudsburg
The States should be allowed to rufuse or exept rufugees. Better yet, the people should be the ones to rufuse or exept rufugees. The federal government should have no right to control the population in one state or another

3/14/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Isabel A.
Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I belive that the states should be allowed to make their own choices regarding the Syrian refugees. I also think that the government should allow refugees into the country, but let the states decide wether they want them living within their boundaries. There is a risk of a terrorist coming into the US, but there is that risk everyday, with every car coming into the country to every plane. There will be that risk no matter what we do, but some Governors want to take that extra step of precaution. However, the refugees are sick, hungry, and scared. We should definitely help them because if we were in their situation, we would want other people to help us. .

3/14/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Ryan Lowe
Mr. Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
I think that the surrounding countries of Syria and their governments should decide where the refugees stay. For one they are the ones who make decisions for their own countries so why not make one for a country who is failing economically and socially.

3/14/2016
Stroudsburg,pa
Ashley C.
Mr. Hanna / stroudsburg JHS
I think states should be able to have the power to refuse to let refugees in. It's their state, their control and if they don't want refugees in their state then that's their choice.

3/14/2016
Stroudsburg, Pa
Eric
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg jhs
I think the states should decide whether or not to let the refugees in. You don't know if they are actual refugees or people trying to harm the United states. I think the states should do everything in their power to protect the their population.

3/14/2016
Stroudsburg,PA
Justin C.
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I think it is right for the states to decide whether or not let in refugees. I think this is right because you don't know what will happen if you let in the wrong boat. I thinks it's just the states trying to protect their people.

3/4/2016
Murrieta/California
McKenzie
Jabro/Creekside High school
I think under the circumstances of what happened in Paris people should definetly have a say in who is allowed to settle in the state. These days you dont know when or where something like the attack in paris can happen and some people just want to take precautions on their safety.

3/3/2016
Murrieta
Marco
Mr.Jabro
i would let the states decide there own choices on weather or not to let them in but i also think its better to house are own people then having someone come out of no where and house them instead of like veterans or people who have nothing here and help build are self up.

3/3/2016
CA
isaac
jabro creekside
i think, if the refugees are trying to get into a country, it should be up to the person in the highest from of leadership in that country. if there is a place where everyone would be safe then they should be under protective watch.

2/11/2016
West Nyack/NY
Alec
Mr. Barsamian/ Clarkstown High School South
I say let the individual states decide whether they want the refugees in their state or not, because to me our government is focusing so much more on this like for examples they want to house the Syrian Refugees rather than trying to house dozens of our homeless Veterans who fought for our country.

2/8/2016
Murrieta
Killian
Mr. Jabro
They refugees are lost and scared by some fanatic that took over there homes and killed there parents, children, and friends. So why should we not take the refugees? Because every country that has taken some in have been attacked by the same refugees. There has been mass shootings, bombings, and rape. this makes this a hard topic on most Americans and makes us not want the good ones that have no problems you cant let the few dictated the future of millions. Its just dumb.

1/28/2016
Williamsville, Illinois
Rhiannon
Williamsville Junior Hgh
Not allowing refugees is simply un-American in every way possible. No, states shouldn't have the right to refuse refugees. People aren't scared of Syrians, they're scared of Muslims because of the preconceived, post 9/11 xenophobia established into the minds of Americans. The Statue of Liberty is to show that Americans are kind, accepting people willing to help our fellow human in a time of need. To turn down innocent people because we're afraid of what other people who may share their faith do is to turn our backs on people in need. Turning down the opportunity to help Syrians because we're worried about a "few bad apples" would be like getting rid of the police force because of its "few bad apples". In addition, ISIS and ISIL have statistically killed more Muslims than not, so even if all the refugees were Muslim, there's a higher risk of them being in danger and not us. ISIS is not Islam, nor is ISIS representative of predominately Muslim countries. States need to stand up against Islamophobia and xenophobia and live up to our American standard.

1/15/2016
Irving/Texas
Jubilee
Bradley/Nimitz
The state should not have the right to refuse Syrian refugees because it will close the door to accepting other refugees and immigration is a national right. By saying that all syrians can not come unto this country will close the dose for all future refuse. But played in history will showed that in world war 2 the United States could have help thousands of lives if they only accepted they jews when they tried to leave Germany when they still could. Refusing Syria will only be a repeat of history which will have the same lasting impact on the United States wishing they could have done more. Also the national government has the right to say who they let into this country. If states were to overlook rights that were granted to the national government then what is to say that the states were to rule the government like in the early american with the Articles of Confederation. Therefor the national government should say whether or not to accept Syrian refugees.

1/14/2016
Irving/TX
Nicole
Bradley/Nimitz
I think we should allow Syrian refugees, just as long as we have serious and well-grounded background checks. Not everyone is going to be as bad as they think they'd be as long as they keep an open mind, but be smart about what they're doing. There are people who really need the help of other countries and who are we to refuse them? That wouldn't be fair and it would go back on what it is we are in being an accepting country.

1/14/2016
Irving/Texas
Aron
Bradley/Nimitz
The states should not have the right to decline refugees, as people who have done nothing wrong should be able to go where they please, and these refugees should have the right to settle somewhere, and the government will most likely need a great deal of space to put them. However, when it comes to the federal government accepting refugees, while I do support the idea, I would like to see greater scrutiny in deciding who comes in. In Europe many of the people coming in aren't Syrian or refugees at all, and the government needs to ensure that people who really need help get it, and that people with no known ties to ISIS are allowed in, for the good of the refugees and the good of US citizens.

1/13/2016
Irving
Angelica
Bradley
Immigration is not a state power; its federal. People immigrate into our nation not into our states. This problem would be like the problem with slave states all over again. If the power is given to the states, it can divide the country--and we all know where that led the country last time. I do understand, however, the fear in the U.S. citizens hearts. There are still people who are mourning the lose of loved ones from the 9/11 terrorist attack. Even closer to my home, I overheard my younger cousin's concerns about ISIS being in the U.S already and, at the time, feared for the lives of her friends participation in the Black Friday sales shortly after the Paris Attacks. I don't deny that the fear is real, but I also don't deny that it's wrong to prohibit refugees from entering the country based on race. That would violate the U.S. Constitution that we hold so dearly. Grant it society has been known to turn a blind eye to the suspension of rights during times of crisis like the Japanese Americans in WWII. Nonetheless, it's a federal power, so if restrictions are going to be made, it should not be made by the states (sorry to disagree with you Gov Pence).

1/12/2016
Irving/TX
Lexia Martinez
Bradely/Nimitz
As a citizen concerned for the safety of myself as well as my family and friends, with the fear that has been put in me by the media about these recent terrorist attacks, I would want to be able to have a vote in whether we should all Syrian Refugees. To me they have been presented as a threat as seeing that "hide in the crowd". I do believe the states should be allowed to vote on whether we can close our borders to Syrians or not. If as a state we believe that we are trying to protect ourselves from the problems faced of endangerment from these terrorists attacks we should be able to close our borders to protect ourselvese without worrying if the neighboring state is doing the same. Simultaneously i believe that if the federal government were to want to make a decision as to where we all have to keep our borders open and something goes wrong we are all toast. As the saying goes "Better safe than sorry," we should be able to think a step ahead and keep going believing we are being protected by our government so to this i say States should be allowed in to picking what they think is best for them and their citizens

1/12/2016
Irving/TX
Desarae
Bradley/Nimitz
In regards to the question on whether the states should have the right to refuse Syrian refugees, I feel as though it should not be permitted. The reasoning behind my answer is because if we do allow such a thing then we would be questioning and undermining our authority on a stance for which we have no right to, although, yes we are given rights there are some for which are not in our power to chose. Another reason, that puts me at a position to say it is solely up to the federal government, is because if we allow our states to pick and chose such a serious grand decision then there would be uncertainty on where we stand as whole nation , therefore causing others to question the United States and what authority we even hold just amongst ourselves.

1/12/2016
Irving/Texas
Ryan
Bradley/Nimitz
Although many state Governors wish to believe otherwise, the admittance of Syrian refugees is ultimately up to the Federal government and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). The UNHCR carries out a grueling 18 to 24 month vetting process on each and every individual, and what many overlook is the fact that any potential terrorists wishing to enter the United States would have a much easier and quicker process of going to a European nation such as France, and then applying for a US visa, which would allow them to easily enter the United States. The UNHCR vetting process is extremely thorough and invasive into the personal lives of the refugees and their families. This ensures that those coming into the U.S. as refugees truly want sanctuary and will receive the support they so crucially need.

1/12/2016
Murrieta/Cali
Danny
Jabro/CreekSide
The federal government should hold the power to decide on whether refugees are allowed in to the country or not. The federal government should have supreme power in regards to foreign affairs and the states should not be allowed to act in violation of federal government foreign policy. Also the decision in Arizona v. United States found that states cannot enact their own immigration laws. The states would be violating precedent law.

1/12/2016
Irving/Tx
Lija
Bradley/Nimitz
I do not believe that states should be allowed to refuse Syrian refugees, because the placement of Syrian refugees are an international affair . I feel that the federal government should hold the power to decide whether or not they admit refugees. This is more of a nationwide issue than state wide. The federal government should have supreme power in regards to foreign affairs and the states should not be allowed to act in violation of federal government foreign policy. The United States has to make a unified decision because you cannot have refugees in some states and not in others.

1/12/2016
Irving/TX
Caroline
Bradley/Nimitz
The case of Arizona v. United States led to the decision that states cannot enact their own immigration laws. Immigration laws and regulations are in the hands of the federal government. State officials have absolutely no say in whether or not Syrian refugees can enter their state. This is, after all, the United States of America; immigrants come from all over the world to the land of the free in hopes to be welcomed with open arms. To turn our backs on Syrian refugees who desperately need our help would be hypocritical. But, because states do not have the power to enact their own immigration laws, the United States will not be deemed as hypocritical since the federal government holds the power to enact immigration laws and can decide to admit refugees.

1/4/2016
Irving/TX
Leslie
Bradley/Nimitz
Even though most states want to refuse Syrian refugees, the federal government should hold the power to decide on admitting refugees. My reason is that states cannot go against federal government decisions. In other words, states do not have complete authority to refuse or admit refugees to this country without the federal government permission like they can't have a militia that will will fight the federal government. States have to accept Syrian refugees no matter their stand in this situation.

12/17/2015
Irving/Texas
Gabriela
Bradley/Nimitz
Although, I do agree with the federal government, that they should hold the power to decide on admitting refugees but also make sure that they each have a background check. My reason for that is because states don’t have the exclusive power to decide who can and can’t come into this country. I agree with the fact that if states don't accept any refugees then they need to prove a threat from the refugees to stop them from settling in. If that is not the case, then the states have to accept refugees from Syria, without questions asked.

12/15/2015
Murrieta/California
Joshua Garcia
Jabro/Creekide High School
I believe, that the states should not refuse Syrian refuges because it is not fair to peaceful Syrians who seek a better future in America. The government should just create strong security measures and background checks on incoming refuges. Therefore, I think the federal government should hold the power on the decision for admitting Syrian refuges into America.

12/15/2015
Irving/TX
Luis M
Bradley/Nimitz
In my opinion, the power to allow Syrian refugees should lie on the states and not the govt because the states should decide whether to allow any kind of immigrant into their state and with the war against terrorism on, we can't trust these people coming into our state and country. If we give the power to the federal government then a lot of the Syrians will come and overpopulate this country. With many Syrians already scheduled to come to the U.S, the states should fight the government and not allow any refugees to come in and settle.

12/14/2015
Irving,Texas
Nicholas
Bradley/Nimitz
I do believe that the refugees should be able to enter the U.S. as a place of sanctuary, but if the refugees are of combat age they should have background checks performed on them to assure the safety of U.S. citizens. The Federal government should accept the refugees because if not they are playing into the hands of ISIL, with their intentions of our civilizations to be separate making us add fuel to their cause. I believe the states should be allowed to question if they should refuse refugees if they have suspicious backgrounds.

12/13/2015
Aurora
Grayson
Harmon Middle School
I think that the United States should let Syrians in. Just because some of the people are bad, doesn't mean that everyone of them is bad. One of the Columbine shooters in 1999, was a Lutheran, just because he is Lutheran doesn't mean that all Lutherans are bad people and that we should ban them from our country.

12/13/2015
Aurora, Ohio
Grace
Mr. Frankmann, Harmon Middle School
This is a very difficult issue to debate upon. If we allowed people from Syria to come into our country, we could be walking right into more terrorist attacks, although if we don't, it could change the way other countries look upon us, and we wouldn't be true to our country. Also, it is not certain how the terrorists entered Paris. It's not everyone from Syria that's bad, so it wouldn't be fair to keep those that are innocent out. But on the other hand, if we did let Syrians in, we could be putting ourselves in danger, and could be heading into unwanted terrorist attacks. They are the main group of terrorists, but few of them are terrorists. We should have very secured tests if we are to let Syrians in. They should ask questions where the government will be able to tell whether they are safe, or thinking like a criminal.I think that we should let them in if they become more secure. There are other countries where terrorists have come from, and a country can always be in threat from anyone if they hate people that much, including each other. I think that we should continue allowing Syrians.

12/11/2015
Irving/Texas
Julia A
Bradley/Nimitz
State should have right to deny the Syrian refugees because I think the state governments are closer to the people and know what is best for the safety and the betterment of their states and local areas.It should be put to a vote because some people may not want to attract the attention of terrorists. Not everyone can be trusted, no matter how much you want to help them.The way ISIS got into Paris was actually by posing as Syrian refugees and got into Greece. They then got into Paris from Greece. Since it is such a national security threat to the United States I do not think it is the right time to open the floodgates for the Syrian Refugees. So I think it is the best thing to do for the protection of the US citizens.

12/11/2015
Diamond Bar, CA
JonathanP5
Wong/Lorbeer
The Syrian Refugees be able to take refuge in the United States, but I believe that states should have the power to refuse the refugees. Sure, this can be a security problem because there might be terrorist hiding among the refugees, but there is no proof of that, so we should take them in. I do not feel that the federal government should decide on admitting the refugees, because once the refugees are inside the problem gets put on the states and not the central government.

12/11/2015
Aurora, OH
Sarah V
Mr. Frankmann at Harmon Middle School
This is a hard issue to find common ground. Of course, it is our human nature to both help those in need, and still keep our country's people safe. Any decision by the government, or individual states, needs to weigh the advantages of an action with its negative consequences. Three-fourths of Americans support our military intervention in Syria, but only one-third of Americans support the admitting of Syrians displaced because of this war. In the last 14 years, the U.S. has accepted almost 800,000 refugees from around the world, including Syria, and only a few of these refugees (non-Syrian) were arrested for planning terrorist activities. Considering moral obligations, our country should admit future refugees. What is of concern is the ability to thoroughly do a background check on any Syrian applicant. Because the U.S. does not have permanent diplomatic presence in Syria, it is hard to gather information on a Syrian applicant, especially their criminal history. There are many countries willing to take Syrian refugees - Australia, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and other European nations. Israel, a country that borders Syria, will not take their refugees, but is offering humanitarian aid and medical treatments to those in accepting countries. America could offer the same help. Unfortunately, any decision made about America accepting refugees, whether by the federal government or the states, will always have those who support it and those who disagree with it.

12/11/2015
Diamond Bar,CA
Nathan
Wong/Lorbeer Middle School
I believe states should not have the power to deny Syrian refugees. Most of the refugees are woman and children trying to escape the terror and horror ISIS is causing in the Middle. East. U.S.A is the only safe haven for these refugees, besides only two percent of the Syrian refugees are of "combat age". Vice President Joe Biden is right, ISIS is trying to make it seem like a us vs. them situation, but it really should be us vs. Islamic terrorists. Refusing Syrians refugee inside our country is unconstitutional and governors and other political leaders should not have the power to refuse federal orders that are constitutional. In short, I believe only the federal government should be able to refuse Syrian settlement in the U.S.A. In short, we have to our Government has to recognize who the real terrorists is here.

12/11/2015
Diamond Bar/CA
David
WongP1/Diamond Bar
The states should individually decide if they want to let in Syrian refugees. Of course, it should be put to a vote because some people may not want to attract the attention of terrorists. Then it should be sub divided into the mayors who want to welcome the refugees into their towns. As for the states who don't, their caution is understandable not wanting to put their citizens in danger if it arises. The federal government can't control if the citizens feel threatened with unpredictable refugees in their midst.

12/10/2015
Diamond Bar, CA
JoshuaP5
Wong/Lorbeer
I think that states should have the right to refuse Syrian refugees. I believe this because the federal government shouldn't have the full power to decide who can enter the country, and the states should have the power to refuse this act. If the governors of the states agree to stopping Syrian refugees from entering their state they should have the complete power to do so regardless of what the federal government says. If the federal government had the power to say who can enter each state, then that would give the federal government too much power disrupting the balance of power between the federal government and the states.

12/10/2015
Irving/Texas
Erica
Bradley/Nimitz
The federal government alone has power to decide who and what enters the United States. A state may refuse to aid Syrian refugees, but that will be violating the law, and inhumane to deny help to the families damaged and torn by the same terrorism we are against. Our battles are the same.

12/10/2015
Diamond Bar, CA
Natalie Sicairos P5
Wong/Lorbeer
I believe that we should allow states to chose whether or not they want to admit Syrian refugees. Since the Paris attack people have been more alert about terrorist. If anyone from Syria would like to enter the U.S. they should have a background check on every little thing they've ever done. I believe that the U.S. be prepared for any terrorist attack and must be more strict about the people they let enter the U.S. Calling back to the 9/11 attack if the U.S was prepared for the attack i believe there could've been a possibility for saving more lives. In conclusion i believe that the states should be allowed to refuse Syrian refugees.

12/10/2015
Diamond Bar,CA
EmilyP.1
Wong/Lorbeer
I think states should be allowed to refuse any Syrian refugees because they have the potential to be a terrorist. If states refuse to let them in, citizens of America may feel much safer that the chance of a terrorist attack is lower. This may seem mean but there is no way of telling if they are a terrorist or not. Paris, France showed us that you can't just let people in, because innocent people might get hurt. It showed not everyone can be trusted, no matter how much you want to help them. In the end you can only trust yourself and so I think states should be allowed to not let Syrian refugees in.

12/10/2015
Diamond Bar/CA
JosephP5
Wong/Lorbeer
I don't think that the entirety of the U.S., including Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, and Mexico, should allow the Syrian refugees to settle anywhere in North America. This could be, like it's stated in the article, a "Trojan Horse" for terrorists and could make America vulnerable to more 9/11 like attacks. Another reason they shouldn't be here, is because they could be targets for the Syrian government to go after, and could end up destroying most of America and other North American places, and we don't want anymore violence for a while, just to stop trauma.

12/10/2015
Murrieta, CA
Corey
Jabro/Creekside High School
States should not decide whether or not they wish to allow Syrian refugees to settle in their state, just like they do not have the power to deny immigrants into the state. It is the job of the federal government to decide whether or not someone should be allowed within U.S. borders, allowing states to deny them the right to live in certain parts of those borders only undermines the federal government's authority as a whole.

12/9/2015
Diamond Bar, CA
Franklin P1
Wong/Lorbeer
I believe that we should allow states to chose whether or not they want to hold Syrian refugees as we should not force a state that doesn't want to do so. It is understandable that some states would refuse to hold the refugees as there is a possibility that they are a terrorist and the governors just want to protect their people from the events that happened in Paris, but the federal government should not force the refugees upon unwilling states. The federal government should instead hold a meeting with the governors of each state to decide who will get the refugees. The states that have decided to not hold the refugees should at least help by providing resources to the states that will hold the refugees so that in the end everyone will help out.

12/9/2015
Aurora/Ohio
Caroline
Frankmann/HMS
I wouldn't let Syrian refugees into the United States because of the major events that have happened, specifically the terrorist attack in Paris, France. I feel bad because it's kind of like school, if one kid does something inappropriate or wrong, everyone is blamed for it. That seems to be what's happening if we don't allow refugees, and I actually think this is the best option in order to provide the Citizens of the United States with protection. Personally, (I think a lot of other people feel this way) I'd rather look out for myself first than other people in this situation. I would rather be safe than to let refugees in that could potentially cause a threat to me. I want to be able to go to New York City not wondering if a terrorist attack will occur there, but to wonder what I could see there. Also, from the looks of it, I think the federal government shouldn't make this decision. It might be wiser to have the citizens in the United States vote. We could have a voting day like when people vote for president except this wouldn't be a repeated day each year.

12/9/2015
murrieta Californa
Killian
Mr Jabro
I think that the refusing to accept refugees should be up to the federal government but I think that the federal government should choose where to put them wisely away from big cities and exepting people in need should be allowed terrorist will always find ways into the country. so be refusing them is just silly there is 100 different ways you can get in the u.s.a. we have a right as human beings to help one another. I also think that states should choose where there refugees go just so if they have a problem with it they can keep there eyes on them.

12/9/2015
Aurora/Ohio
Nathan Welsh
Frankmann/Harmon Middle School
As our vice president, Joe Biden, said, "The vast majority of Syrian refugees are: Women, children, and orphans. Survivors of torture. People desperately in need of medical help."

12/9/2015
Irving/TX
Eric
Bradley/Nimitz
To many people, America is the land of freedom. By refusing to accept Syrian refugees who seek that freedom from their former hostile home, America would be contradicting it's origins, and purpose. The government has a right to protect it's integrity as well as ensuring the safety of people around the world as a whole. Stopping refugees from escaping to America is something that may seem like a good idea to those who are worried about their safety which is understandable, but if you put yourself in their shoes you would want freedom as an innocent person as well.

12/9/2015
Aurora Ohio
MAry
HMS
What people fail to realize is that ISIS makes up less than 1% of the Muslim population. An online resource I read said "..We could easily say Allah ordered believers in the Quran to wage combat against terrorism - 14 centuries ago. And the "struggle against oppression, terrorism and tyranny" in the Arabic language, it is called, "Jihad." I tell them, "Islam declared the WAR ON TERRORISM - over 1,400 years ago!" To not let Syrians in is inhumane. They are trying to escape the war and bombings and death that is taking over their home. I understand that some ISIS members could sneak in with the refugees, so we could set up some kind of Ellis Island like place again so we can be sure that doesn't happen, Thank you for reading. ((posted to national discussion))

12/8/2015
Diamond Bar, CA
BrianP5
Wong/Lorbeer
Since the terrorists attacks of Paris, many people are being more alert in case an attack happens near them. I believe that us, Americans, should have a say on where Syrian refugees should live. We shouldn't be living our lives everyday scared because of a possibility of a refugee being a terrorist. Some people want refugees in their state which is fine, but to other states that are forced to occupy refugees when they don't want to would not be fair. Americans should be able to vote if they either want or don't want Syrian refugees in their state.

12/7/2015
Diamond Bar CA
marissa
Wong/lorbeer
In my opinion I would expect the people of the united stats should decide where the Syrian refugees should settle. Since the attack in Paris we the people are afraid that this may occur where we live. We don't know if these is an actual refuge or some terrorists that possed as a Syrian refugee. I would feel safe if some people would agree with my statement and choose either the people be able to vote on letting Syrian refugees in the united states.

12/7/2015
Aurora/Ohio
Remy
Frankmenn/Harmon Middle school
I believe that Syrian Refugees should be able to come in to our country, but with really strict background checks and I think that they should be put somewhere in till their are sure that the refugees are safe. All the refugees want is freedom from their country that has been torn apart by war, I think that everyone that is worthy of freedom should have it. Even though that is my thought on that I believe that each state should have the right to saying if they want refugees or not, they are obviously going to make the right discussion for that state. I think that states not accepting refugees is not right but they are entitled to that decision. Even though the states should have that right doesn't make that right to not accept refugees, it is just like immigrants from other country's and we accept most of those and you are going to turn them down because of where they come from, that's not right. I think that not all of the refugees are bad in fact most of them are good and they are only looking for freedom. with tighter background checks I believe that the refugees should still be able to come into the United States. I mean anyone of the other immigrant that we let in from other parts of Europe could be terrorists but we let them in without all of this discussion so why should we be so worried about these people they are human too they couldn't help where they were born, all they want is the same opportunity that we have.

12/7/2015
Aurora Ohio
Sammi
Frankmann Harmon Middle School
I believe that the United States especially, the federal government, should be able to hold power to decide on admitting refugees because they should experience with a background check to stop the threat of terrorism. Although, I think that it is biased to establish a whole group based on only a few actions. Specifically, when a lot of the victims are just caught in the crossfire. In conclusion, I do not think that declining Syrian refugees will stop ISIS.

12/7/2015
irving/tx
luz
Bradley/Nimitz
When we think about Syrians we automatically think about terrorist but we should also think that not all Syrians are like that. There are families that are scared. Children, women, elders, and all class of people that suffer and that all they want is PROTECTION. The United should not ban refugees for this people that need it. Yes we might also be scared to experience an attack but there are many ways authorities can supervise this refugees and make sure that they don't represent a murderous, for our nation.

12/7/2015
Washington/New Jersey
Sarvani
Rokosny/Warren Hills
I believe that the state government should be the ones making the decision as to where the Syrian refugees should settle. The federal government, although they know better about foreign policies, are not close enough to home to know what the safest places are for these potentially dangerous Syrian refugees to go. The state governments are closer to the people and know what is best for the safety and the betterment of their states and local areas. Furthermore, when the federal government makes a decision, it is not tailored to exactly what every state individually needs and the federal government can only make a broad assumption of safety for all the states because they are not close enough to know what each state needs. Therefore, for the safety of the nation and of the people that reside within it, the federal government needs to realize that the state governments are the best option for this situation.

12/7/2015
Washington/New Jersey
Joseph
Mrs. Rokosny/Warren Hills Regional High School
I believe the states should have the ability to refuse to accept Syrian refugees. The way ISIS got into Paris was actually by posing as Syrian refugees and got into Greece. They then got into Paris from Greece. Since it is such a national security threat to the United States I do not think it is the right time to open the floodgates for the Syrian refugees. They can go through the normal immigration process but we should not just “let them in.” If the federal government forced states to comply it would be unconstitutional since it would forcibly put people in danger from ISIS.

12/7/2015
Washington/New JERSEY
Will
Mrs Rokosny/Warren Hills
I believe that the federal government should in fact hold the power to decide on who enters the country. It should be a federal decision because if each state had their own "immigration law" there would be no consistency. Who can and cannot come into the country should be a federal issue. On the Syrian refugees, I believe that they shouldn't be let in because of the fact that terrorists can sneak in and it compromises the safety of the citizens.

12/7/2015
Washington, NJ
Emily
Rokosny/ Warren Hills
States should be allowed to decide upon whether or not they want to take in the Syrian refugees. The federal government should give the states power because of the fact that each state has its own stance on the issue. Some states are willing to give Syrians refuge and others are not willing because they see it as a potential threat. If the states are given that power then the U.S will be able to help at least some of the Syrians and it will not be an overwhelming amount.

12/7/2015
Washington/NJ
Andy Q.
Rokosny/Warren Hills
Personally, I think the United States should be more than willing to accept Syrian refugees. The process to screen incoming refugees is solid and usually takes around a year to complete, so worries about a potential terrorist threat sneaking in or a "Trojan horse" are fairly exaggerated in my opinion. As the President has cited, vigorous background checks also need to be conducted. Since state's can't enact their own immigration laws per Arizona v. United States. Ultimately, while safety is important, I value welcoming the stranger rather than attempting to preserve the status quo, and rejecting fellow human beings the opportunities to have a better life for themselves.

12/7/2015
washington/New Jersey
krystal
mrs. rockosny/ warren house
I believe that the Syrian refugees should be allowed to come to the United States. The refugees are for the most part innocent and they are people that are being killed and hurt purely because of the area they live in. Half of them are children and women. They have the right to seek refuge and as long as we can perform more thorough background checks. We cannot stand by and watch these innocent people get hurt we need to take some action and help them.

12/7/2015
Washington/ New Jersey
Sean
Rokosny
I believe that the federal government should hold the power for deciding to admit refugees. The Constitution in Article 1, section 8, clause 4 allows congress to establish rules and laws over naturalization. The authority to naturalize people from foreign nations (in this case Syrians) is granted to the federal government in the Constitution. State governors cannot refuse the admission of refugees because they are not granted the power of nullification in federal law. Since both the constitution and federal law prohibit states from barring Syrian refuges the state governors must comply with the federal government.

12/7/2015
wsahintgon/ nwe jsersey
Jakc
rkosnky/wraren llihs
i think the federal government should have the jurisdiction and authority to declare wether or not states must take in refugees from syria. they have many difficult background checks and they dont let just anybody waltz into this country. we should trust in the people who are keeping us safe and understand that they are doing their job and want to help the refugees and also keep us safe. also it is insulting and wrong to think that every person form syria is a bad person, of course there will be some but we have to weed them out. overall its definetly in the federal governments hands in this one. firmly in their ball park, in their mittens.

12/7/2015
Washington/NJ
Vitaliya
Rokosny/Warren Hills
The Syrian refugee crisis is one that needs to be dealt with in an organized manner by setting limits that are the same across the board. The federal government should deal with the Syrian refugee crisis because then it can control what happens in every part across the country so that certain states are not over populated. Furthermore, the federal government should preside over international issues and since the federal government has always dealt with such issues, the federal government would be more qualified in handling another international issue, such as immigration. The federal government has the authority to deal with the refugee crisis because the states cannot deal with such an issue due to the fact that they are not proficient in their understanding of immigration. Therefore, the federal government should be able to command what happens to the Syrian refugees that are admitted into the country.

12/7/2015
Washington/New Jersey
Brian Q
Mrs. Rokosny/ Warren Hills Regional High School
I do not believe that states should be allowed to refuse Syrian refugees, because the placement of Syrian refugees are an international affair (many countries all over the world are trying to figure out what to do with them), so because it is a problem on the global scale, the government that is able to conduct our foreign affairs (the federal government) should handle this issue. Overall, I believe that the federal government should decide whether Syrian refugees are allowed to enter the country because the admission of refugees in general is usually a federal issue such as when Cuban, Vietnamese, or Cambodian refugees were allowed into the country through parameters set by the federal government. Also, the Supreme Court has already ruled in favor of this being a federal issue, so we should abide by what they say. Personally, I believe that the United States federal government should allow Syrian refugees to enter the country, because they should not be able to discriminate against a group just because some of them might be terrorists. I also believe that the United States should have very extensive background checks on all refugees in order to make sure they are not terrorists.

12/7/2015
Washington/ NJ
Jacob
Rokosny/Warren Hills
The US should let Syrian refugees in; as Syrians do not pose a terroristic threat to the United States. Although there is a war going on it is a civil war therefore they have other things to worry about than terrorizing countries like America. While the Paris attacks may make people stricter with immigrants it is clear that Syrians are not a threat and they were in no way connected to the terrorist attacks, so this shouldn't influence their decision to let them in at all. In addition to this the US system for allowing immigrants is much safer as it is. Since this is a foreign affair i feel that it should be handled by the federal government like most foreign affairs. The state government would lack consistency and this would just end up with some states getting much more air traffic than others.

12/7/2015
Washington/NJ
Lauren
Rokosny/Warren Hills
I don't believe that anyone should decide where the Syrian refugees settle. Refugees were welcome in our country for years and should continue to be. Extensive background checks must be put in place to ensure our country's ultimate safety.

12/7/2015
Washington, NJ
Hunter
Warren Hills
I feel that the federal government should hold the power to decide whether or not they admit refugees. This is more of a nationwide issue than state wide. If it were me, I don't think i would allow Syrian refugees access to our land. I agree with the statement that the flood of refugees would be that of a Trojan Horse. Even if we have outstanding immigration policies there could still be people that pose a threat to our nation. And that is too great a risk, especially after Paris and all of the shootings and other terroristic actions around the globe

12/7/2015
Washington/New Jersey
Anthony
Rokosny/Warren Hills
The federal government should hold the power to decide on whether refugees are allowed in to the country or not. The federal government should have supreme power in regards to foreign affairs and the states should not be allowed to act in violation of federal government foreign policy. Also the decision in Arizona v. United States found that states cannot enact their own immigration laws. The states would be violating precedent law.

12/7/2015
Washington, New Jersey
Sarah
Mrs. Rokosny, Warren Hills
I believe that the U.S., specifically the federal government, should accept innocent Syrian refugees. Of course, they should undergo a background check to prevent the threat of terrorism, though. I think that it is unfair to generalize an entire group based on the actions of a few. Especially when most of the victims are just caught in the crossfire of ISIS and Assad. Furthermore, I don't think that refusing Syrian refugees will stop ISIS.

12/7/2015
Washington/NJ
Julie
Rokosny/Warren Hills
I believe it is the federal government's job to make the decision regarding the Syrian refugees. The United States has to make a unified decision because you cannot have refugees in some states and not in others. Personally I believe the United States should not take any refugees in due to the past terrorist attacks. Although I agree that all of the refugees are not terrorists, we should not chance the safety of our citizens.

12/7/2015
Washington / New Jersey
Ryan
Rokosny / Warren Hills
I believe that the States should have some say in who can enter in their own borders. There is a serious threat of ISIS within our country and the States should be able to try to protect themselves. However I do not agree with blocking all Syrian refugees from entering their borders. I think the solution to this problem is allowing the States to have some of their own background process. The Federal government should limit the amount of refugees in our country, since there are countless other ways to spend our tax dollars more effectively, such as our veterans.

12/7/2015
NJ
Amanda
Warren Hills
I believe that the Syrian refugees are our problem because the United States decided to push our views of democracy on Iran and Iraq and brought weapons to the region. The high power machinery and military training that Syria has, has a lot to do with what America exposed to them. The innocent people that were killed when we attacked Iraq have families and who can blame their families for being angry at us? We need to help innocent people. I am all for intensive screening before they are permitted into the country. There are tons of crazy people in America that were born here. Gang violence kills more people every year than terrorist attacks do.

12/7/2015
Washington, NJ
Victoria
Mrs. Rokosny/Warren Hills High School
I think that the federal government should hold the power when deciding whether to admit Syrian refugees or not. It is important that the United States exercise a unilateral foreign policy. Giving the states the power to decide whether refugees are admitted means that the United States would not exhibit a uniform policy in world affairs. I do, however, agree with the states that have refused to allow refugees in the country, and believe that the national government should bar refugees from entering. Although the government says there are safety precautions, the safest precaution is to not allow anyone in. Only then can we truly provide for the safety of the citizens of this country.

12/7/2015
Washington/NJ
Dylan
Rokosny/Warren Hills
Ultimately, the Syrian refuges will not comply to resettling somewhere outside of Syria. On one end of the spectrum, America would be dealing with potential terrorists within these refugee groups (it is unlikely that there may be a terrorist within one of these groups, but we need to stay vigil). On the opposite end of the spectrum, our federal government, as well as other governments need to be cautious with accepting refuges into their countries because of the potential risk of more terrorist attacks being initiated on these countries willing to accept the Syrian refugees. The potency of terrorists targeting countries with refugees would be exponentially higher as a result of other countries taking refugees in because the terrorist groups would aim to terrorize the countries that have their citizens.

12/7/2015
Washington/ NJ
Brian
Rokosny / Warren Hills
I think that the states should have the right to screen refugees and determine whether or not they are safe to enter the state. The national government has the power to decide whether or not refugees are allowed to enter the nation, but saying that individual states must accept refugees oversteps the federal governments enumerated powers. As long as states have a screening process that allows refugees to pass through (as opposed to rejecting everyone because the state's criteria is unfairly strict) there is no reason why the states cannot decide who and how many enter the state.

12/7/2015
Aurora/Ohio
Joey
Frankman/Harmon
I do not think that Syrian refugees should be allowed into the United States with everything going on with Isis right now is not the best time we don't want another 9/11.

12/4/2015
Watertown, Ma
Matthew
Watertown High School
I don't think anyone can decide where they go, they are going to go wherever they want and the president won't tell them they can't come here. It is ultimately the presidents decision but few people haven't been agreeing with him lately and most of his decisions havent been good ones. I would rather Americans tax dollars go to American citizens who are trying to get back on their feet rather than Syrian refugees who don't even live here, why should I give my money to foreigners opposed to my fellow citizens that actually need it. They can worry about their own problems in Syria not bring them over here so we can deal with them instead of the Syrian people. If you want to come to America come here the right way I'm ok with that, but don't come here and expect us to solve your problems.

12/4/2015
Watertown, Ma
Matthew
Watertown High School
I don't think anyone can decide where they go, they are going to go wherever they want and the president won't tell them they can't come here. It is ultimately the presidents decision but few people haven't been agreeing with him lately and most of his decisions havent been good ones. I would rather Americans tax dollars go to American citizens who are trying to get back on their feet rather than Syrian refugees who don't even live here, why should I give my money to foreigners opposed to my fellow citizens that actually need it. They can worry about their own problems in Syria not bring them over here so we can deal with them instead of the Syrian people. If you want to come to America come here the right way I'm ok with that, but don't come here and expect us to solve your problems.

12/4/2015
Watertown Massachusetts
Robert
Mr. Rimas/Watertown High School
First off, I believe that states should not have the choice whether or not to refuse Syrian refugees. It should be a federal decision. I disagree with President Obama going ahead with resettlement of Syrian refugees because of the potential risk of terrorists being among them. Obviously, most often, terrorists are probably not among Syrian refugees. However, we can't forget about the potential risk that terrorists are among them, especially after the terrorist attack in Paris. We are in a time of constant worry of terrorist attacks. Countries all over the world are in heightened alert of terrorism and are making many changes to minimize the risk of terrorist attacks. Allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S., especially during this time, is extremely risky and just adds on to the risk of future terrorist attacks.

12/4/2015
Watertown MA
Greg
Mr.Rimas Watertown high school
Since Russia has a huge impact on the conflict in Syria, I believe that the refugees should settle into Russia since they have a vast amount of free land. Also, Vladimir Putin is very considerate about bringing back the Syrian president so he doesn't want to improve the conflict. Russia is such a huge country that they can have a space for Syrian refugees to settle. I believe Putin is a smarter and more sensible president than Obama so he should take care of the refugees. Russia's objective is to get rid of Isis so that the Syrians have their homeland back and can live normally once again. There are many Syrian refugees and Russia's huge land should be good enough for them to settle in until the conflict is resolved.

12/4/2015
Watertown MA
Jason
Mr Rimas WHS
I think that the location of the Syrian refugees should be decided by specifically the citizens of the United States . We are the people that will be impacted by their location if they are here. So we the people should be able to decide

12/4/2015
Watertown
Leah
Rimas/Watertown High
I believe we should help the Syrian refugees because they're in danger being in their homeland and they shouldn't have to live in fear, yet at the same time I think we should find them a safe haven in a general place. We should help them out finantially settle in a place outside of Syria that's safe for them. At this point, I believe it's too dangerous to allow the refugees to come to America, not knowing what were allowing to come across the borders.

12/4/2015
Massachusetts
Abiral
Watertown highschool
I think We should let them come but make it a lot stricter and make sure they go over a deep background check before letting tem come to the us.

12/4/2015
Watertown
Vrej
RimS
I think no one should be able to decide were Syrian refugees settle because after all this country is suppose to welcome refugees or anything. This country was built by immigrants. Also the US government should he,p the refugees because after all they had a hand in arming the terrorist in the place, therefore they should cleanup the mess that have made.

12/4/2015
Watertown ma
Tyler p
Rimas Watertown high
Syrian refugees should not settle in the United States I Unless they have had a background check and do a monumental effort to help improve the country. They will also take up jobs which isn't good for the rest of the people looking for jobs and are currently struggling.

12/4/2015
Irving, TX
Rolando
Mrs. Bradley Nimitz
What I see fit, it would be that we should let Syrians in and let the refugees be welcomed. We should give them a reason to want to stay and not be negative towards them. Otherwise will give them a reason for anything. We should let them in but it’s understandable our views towards them, it's hard to trust someone we don’t know but we have to give it a try.

12/4/2015
Watertown
Ryan
Rimas
I think bringing Syrian refugees into the US can be dangerous because there's a possibility that they can now plot attacks in the US and not have to worry about sneaking in or anything like that. Also, I'm not saying all of these people are planning on doing bad, but it is pretty difficult who to trust because there could be things like propaganda influencing their decisions and that could negatively effect the US and the citizens

12/4/2015
Watertown, MA
Haider
Rimas/Watertown High School
ISIS would like to come to the US because they have challenged the US many times. I think they would like to use the refugees as a cloak to get into the US. But we should not let thousands of children and women suffer. What could be more good to do is a really tight and high background check.

12/3/2015
murrieta
austen h
jabro
I think states do not have a choice to refuse Syrian refugees as it is chosen federally. Though i think they should not all be placed in one state. Terrorism should be least of a concern as refugees spend over a year going through the application process.

12/3/2015
Birmingham
Kamari
Parker todd / SPHS
I feel that you cant turn everyone of Syrian away cuz not everybody from there is bad . I understand the governors want to protect their people and cities but you can deem all muslims bad. If that's the case then we should deem all white people bad but we wont , don't , cant , so whats the difference ?

12/2/2015
Murrieta/CA
Joshua Garcia
Mr. Jabro/Creekside high school
I believe that states should not allow Syrian refugees into our country. It is better to be safe than sorry, even with background checks we all make mistakes, all we need is one terrorist to seek by and either cause a rebellion with our American citizens or cost the live of hundreds or more people with a violent attempt. No matter what us citizens do, I still think in the end, the federal government is going to make their own decision. If can have a say in the decision though, I believe us people should decide the propocision.

12/2/2015
Birmingham
Jayla
Spain Park High Schol
I believe the federal government holds the power to decide on admitting refugees because it is seen as an inherited power historically given to national governments.

12/2/2015
Birmingham/Alabama
Kair
Mr.Parker/SPHS
I disagree with the governors that are denying Syrians in to their states. If you think about it as the article has mentioned most of the Syrians brought in the States are kids, and women. Even after the Paris attacks, Paris is still allowing Syrians to flow into their country and you’re going to tell me that you’re not going to allow Syrians into the States how does that make sense. Syrians are being killed in their own country by their own government, the civil war has been going on for five years. What happened to the act of kindness in people, in the states, the U.S. having freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the Governors should really look the Syrians refugees in the eyes and remake their decision. I understand why they are scared, to let Syrians coming in from Syria to the United States, only ten to fifteen percent are radicals, no true muslim supports the terrorist attacks, Islam is a religion of peace. Babies and innocents are being killed left and right, fathers and mothers. Syrians are doing what they can to escape they don’t want their lives to be in danger and they are being killed or dying from sickness while fleeing, so please reconsider your decision.

12/2/2015
Hoover/Al
John
Mr.Parker/SPHS
I think states should be allowed to refuse Syrian refugees. The states are getting less and less power because the national government is taking it away. The states know what is going on in their state whereas the federal government does not. The states know if they can handle the Syrian refugees or not.

12/2/2015
Murrieta, CA
Micah W
Jabro - Creekside High School
The states shouldn't be allowed to enact their own immigration policies. Immigration is an issue best managed by the federal government. If states were allowed the ability to reject and accept certain individuals it would only become tedious and cause a massive amount of confusion. In the current situation of whether or not we should accept Syrian refugees, it's understandable as to why states would apprehensive towards doing so but an issue this pressing should be handled by the federal government.

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